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Corrobin

How much does "Death by Awesome" annoy you, and how would you solve it?

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Let me explain:ย 

"Death by Awesomeness" is a situation I feel a lot of people in the fandom are familiar with. A character is guarding a chokepoint or holding some sort of line with a Hand Axe or Javelin or the like, while a decent stream of enemies pour towards them.

Due to just being strong, unlucky crits, and the like, the character keeps killing on the counterattack... leaving them open to get attacked by another enemy, who does some damage to them but also gets killed, leading to the character dying, when if they had left an enemy alive, it would have prevented them from dying by blocking other enemies from attacking them.

Does this bother you? Do you have a solution to this?

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You mean mechanically, or in terms of player choice, under the given mechanics?

One way to change the game to prevent it is a morbid one - but basically, have dead units still exist on the map, until the next turn starts. So defeating a unit on enemy phase doesn't leave that spot open, until the next player phase.

An alternative way is a "hold back" mechanic, whereby the player can - by holding a button - prevent their unit from counter-attacking, even when they have the opportunity to do so. But this might drift too far from the "set the pieces, then let them fight" paradigm.

Assuming there's no mechanical changes, though, the only real answer is not to over-extend yourself - and count the enemy units, and their damage, carefully.

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Usually that can be solved by unequiping their weapon, though in Three Houses that may end up making them susceptible to critical hits.

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How much does it bother me? Not much. It's something I always try to factor into my calculations, so I consider it my fault if it ever does happen.

How would I solve it? Some way for the player to prevent one of their unit from landing crits, since that's the main way that this sort of death can happen outside the player's control. This could be a tier of weapons that never crits, like bronze weapons in Radiant Dawn or Fates, or it could be a skill. Something that works along the lines of Wary Fighter or Parity and prevents the user from ever giving or receiving critical hits would be viable for a niche like this.

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

One way to change the game to prevent it is a morbid one - but basically, have dead units still exist on the map, until the next turn starts. So defeating a unit on enemy phase doesn't leave that spot open, until the next player phase.

What the heck. Is there an SRPG that has this sort of mechanic?

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Neuter Javelins and Hand Axes like Fates did. That solves that problem.

Though in general, you could also nerf natural crit rates to the point where you need to be actively trying for critical hits with their tools or the enemy is just that unlucky. FE4 takes it to the extreme with no natural critical hits unaided, despite every enemy having 0 Luck. I wouldn't say no to having some way to opt out of getting random crits either, like through a skill or accessory.

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Personally I always liked the cartoony image of my armor knight holding a spear out in front of him as enemies shishkebab onto it. Counting potential damage from several enemies in one turn is another element of strategy that I like in Fire Emblem. But you're right that it can be frustrating if the only reason you got a particular kill is getting an unlikely crit. Or one of the enemies you're intending to KO gets a lucky crit on you. But if you don't like those scenarios, then it's critical hits you might want to think about changing.

To add on to the "dead enemies leave a dead body for a turn" idea, you could honestly just make it so that tile is glowing red or is greyed out, indicating that units can't stand there for a turn. And us playing the game would understand "oh yeah, wouldn't make sense for two people to try occupying the same space in a few short seconds".ย I've also always felt that, on enemy phase, you would get penalties to your stats on each successive combat within that phase. Because dodging enemy swings gets harder the more surrounded by foes you are. And by applying the same rules to enemies, it can let them create super imposing boss characters you need to wear down before you start landing good damage. If you have a limit on how many spaces you could be attacked from, then your own units won't be potentially worn down by half a dozen guys. Ditto for having an easy time with a boss just because you have a blob of allied units ready and waiting for their shot at him. Not even repositioning your units will allow you to attack from that same space. Or maybe even the same angle when it comes to ranged units. Maybe your archers need a certain support rank with allied units or a certain skill before they can reliably shoot past an ally's shoulder

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7 hours ago, Corrobin said:

Does this bother you? Do you have a solution to this?

I think I've only ever experienced this once or twice, as I usually try to avoid situations where the enemies piling on the unit can result in the unit's death, and when it does happen, it's usually because one of the enemy units got a lucky crit, and the pileup normally wouldn't have killed the unit. I've honestly heard about it more than I've actually experienced it.

I always thought one decent remedy to this would be to create a class that specializes in this sort of scenario by being stronger and better at evasion when outnumbered; something like Landsknecht or Vanguard.

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As ever, there's an AZ comic about it.

Still. When it's a crit, that's tough luck. But if you're setting up your enemy phase to destroy swathes of enemies, you need to take into account all the attacks coming your way. The only issue is that enemies are weak enough that the player evenย thinksย that taking on everyone at once is gonna go fine - I give FE15 zombies a pass for this because they're just so reliably weak and reliably murdered, so the calculations do work out pretty clearly. But no, it doesn't bother me at all, and I don't think it's a problem.

Edited by Parrhesia

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On 3/25/2021 at 7:49 PM, Corrobin said:

Let me explain:ย 

"Death by Awesomeness" is a situation I feel a lot of people in the fandom are familiar with. A character is guarding a chokepoint or holding some sort of line with a Hand Axe or Javelin or the like, while a decent stream of enemies pour towards them.

Due to just being strong, unlucky crits, and the like, the character keeps killing on the counterattack... leaving them open to get attacked by another enemy, who does some damage to them but also gets killed, leading to the character dying, when if they had left an enemy alive, it would have prevented them from dying by blocking other enemies from attacking them.

Does this bother you? Do you have a solution to this?

yes: not being awesome.

or simply plan wisely what to equip/where to put your unit before letting the enemy phase play out.ย better safe than sorry, especially if you're going for iron man runs.

terrain bonuses and a defensive placement of unitsย are usually the key for survival. units with good stats are always there to help, but they shouldn't be the only thing carrying your game.

12 hours ago, Parrhesia said:

But if you're setting up your enemy phase to destroy swathes of enemies, you need to take into account all the attacks coming your way. The only issue is that enemies are weak enough that the player evenย thinksย that taking on everyone at once is gonna go fine

normally yes, wich is a common mistake for anyone who played a FE title at least once,ย but there's exceptions as well.

there's units such as Oswin orย Hector from Blazing Blade, for example, that are there to defy the laws of nature, therefore they will most likely end up survivingย anything that comes their way no matter what, while bringing death and destruction upon enemy forces at the same time.

Edited by ๐™ตแด‡ษดส€แด‡ษชส€

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I just think it's funny. If I'm gonna lose a map I'd rather it be through this because it's an amusing way to go and I can just laugh as I reset and hardly even feel bad. Anyways, my solution in games where weight matters is to equip a heavier weapon to prevent the unit from doubling or just putting a different unit there. You can also always unequip their weapon if you just want the enemies to run at them and be clumped for you to just clear out on the next player phase. I really don't view this as a problem that needs to be fixed. There's ways to avoid it and taking into account how many times your unit is gonna get smacked on enemy phase is just another component you have to consider for your strategy. You know, since it's a strategy game. It also offers a nice check on just trashing the game by just standing in a choke with a good unit.

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it doesnt bother me that much, since it rarely happen to me

but that being said, its easily solved by implementing "defense" action rather than auto counterattacking like usual. look at Super robot wars game for reference (which is another grid-based SRPG). but the inclusion of that also introduce annoying "confirmation for each battle" that really makes the game wayy longer per turn

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Yeah--from the player end, equipping the right sort of weapon is key to avoiding this situation. You may sometimes find you don't have a weapon weak or heavy enough to keep enemies alive, though, and it's kind of absurd that the game incentivizes you unequipping your character entirely in these situations.

From the developer end, IS could easily limit the number of counterattacks a character can launch in a turn--both Disgaea and Telepath Tactics do this, and it's quite effective at avoiding this problem.

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I do not understand why it needs to be "solved" in the first place, unless the character in question only gets themselves in the situation to begin with due to incredibly poor luck likeย say, critting three times in a row, moments like these are completely avoidable. Thinking about how many enemies are in range of your character and adding up how much damage they would all do in total and how much damage your character will do against them in return duringย the Enemy Phase is something the player should just do themselves.

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